Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in England, and with one in 20 people developing the condition, it is the second highest cause of cancer deaths. If diagnosed early, treatment can be more effective and bowel cancer screening programmes can reduce these mortality figures, yet for people with learning disabilities, the uptake of screening is significantly lower than the rest of the population.
To describe the process of co-production when working with a group of people with learning disabilities to explore why they may be reluctant to access bowel cancer screening.
A consultation meeting was held with one of the authors, six people with learning disabilities, an advocate and two specialist nurses. A feedback session was organised and a report using clear information was written in conjunction with the participants.
Participants discussed what gets in the way of attending for bowel screening and what might help to increase uptake, including awareness, support and clear information.
Working in co-production proved mutually beneficial as local clinicians also learned how to communicate more effectively with people who have learning disabilities.